“When the Pharisees knew he was talking about them they looked for a way arrest Jesus.” It is often easy to hide, run, lash out, or kill when we feel threatened by the truth about ourselves and our motivations. It is more difficult to see ourselves in light of the truth and embrace the healing, the repentance, and the change that needs to take place. How do I respond to new truth in my life? How do I relate to truth tellers? Lord Jesus, let the truth set us free. Amen.
“…establish the righteous, you who test the minds and hearts…” Just as we are called to love God with all our heart, soul, body, and mind; so the Psalmists says, God is the one who “tests” the truthfulness of both our mind and our hearts. Can our hearts be right with God if our minds are out of sync with God? Is our thinking right, if our hearts are out of sync with God? Try us, O God, and be sure that we have pure hearts and clean and truthful thinking about all things.
“for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” We live in a day in which we value many shades of grey and living color; it seems so limiting to have just two ways. There is a fundamental orientation of our heart however; we lean toward God or our own will and ways. Which way is your heart oriented these days? Holy Spirit, Spirit of truth and mercy, search us, reveal the truth of our way, and lead us in the way of the righteous, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
“Everyone who does not abide in the teaching of Christ, but goes beyond it, does not have God; whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.” In a world of “tolerance” and “diversity,” God’s word still challenges and warns us. What does it mean to abide in Christ’s teaching? What does it mean to “go beyond it?” Why is this scripture still important for us to hear and apply? Father, it is always easy for us to make faith comfortable and agreeable to our personal desires and whims. Keep us focused on Your truth that endures.
The Voice of a deceiver: “Go and make a careful search for the child…so that I too may go and worship him.” The voice of Herod is the voice of the deceiver. His words are carefully crafted. He has no intention of worshipping Christ. How do I discern the voice of a deceiver whose lies will lead in a false direction? How do I protect my heart from becoming a deceptive voice in the world? – May my words always be true and reflect a heart that seeks only You O Lord. Help me to discern what is true. Amen.
“They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.” The preaching of the early church brought on resistance and persecution, largely because of the claim that Jesus was alive. What made this a foundational truth for Jesus’ followers? Do we proclaim in Jesus the resurrection of the dead today, or are people more disturbed by other things we are talking about? O Holy Spirit, let our proclamation be faithful to true Christian testimony first and foremost.